[Documents menu] Documents menu

Message-ID: <199807150836.EAA24487@access5.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 04:36:31 -0400
Reply-To: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
From: Alex G Bardsley <bardsley@ACCESS.DIGEX.NET>
Subject: Fwd: TH,CAM: Joint naval patrols (BKKPost)

X-URL: http://www.bangkokpost.net/today/150798_News10.html

Thai, Khmer navies agree on joint territorial patrol

Bangkok Post, 15 July 1998

The Cambodian and Thai navies will begin a joint operation to patrol common territorial waters, the better to tackle maritime crimes and intrusion problems.

The decision to establish the joint patrol was reached at a weekend border meeting between Vice Adm Wasin Sarikaputi, commander of the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC), and Lt-Gen Som Loc Te of the Third Region Army in Cambodia's Kompong Som.

A RTMC source said the joint operation was a step closer to settling the water disputes between the two countries. In the past, the joint action proposed by the Navy was repeatedly turned down by Phnom Penh.

The source said the cooperation would enable both countries to suppress maritime crimes such as drug trafficking and piracy more efficiently.

It would also help prevent unauthorised ships from intruding into each other's waters particularly off Kud Island in Trat province.

But so far Cambodia has refused Thailand's offer to demarcate the territorial waters.

The source said Phnom Penh has considered the Navy's call for an ad hoc unit to be set up to exclusively handle problems caused by Thai fishing boats.

Thai authorities often had to spend a lot of time and money going through tedious Cambodian formalities in dealing with problems such as encroachment by Thai fishing trawlers.

An ad hoc unit would cut red tape and speed up the process to secure the release of the arrested boat crew.

The unit would keep in touch with the Thai authorities so that help could reach the troubled Thai fishermen in time, the source said.